Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Chemotherapy Duing Pregnancy?
Yes it can be done. Some doctors are hesitant to say so because so little really is known about it for sure. I was always informed it has shown to be *safer* or *possible* in the second and third trimester. I did my own research mostly from stories of other women who endured the same thing. Pretty much every story I read it is from the second trimester or third. I started mine at only 10 weeks. A specialist I saw only one time did suggest terminating simply because of the lack of information and for me emotionally she felt it would be better. Now for me personally this was not something I could do and be better emotionally. I would be much much worse. There was no risk to my health involved. I could get the chemo while I was pregnant and pretty much have faith. I chose to do that. I researched information online and I have yet to find a case where something went wrong with the baby from the chemotherapy. I have found women who delivered healthy babies and older children now from the same situation who are still doing marvelously. You can't very well get a large scale study of pregnant women, with cancer, who have chemo. You would have to divide it into 3 groups. First, second, third trimester. How could you possibly find enough women to really get accurate information? I found a great website called www.pregnantwithcancer.org. That site is what really helped. I was paired up with a supporter; a woman who had the same cancer as me while pregnant. She had all the same things happen to her and her daughter was currently a healthy 2 year old. I get a newsletter from that site every month or so. Gabbi and I were on the last one. There is a large list of names of recently born babies and their mothers, all who were pregnant with cancer. Some women can opt to wait for treatment, or induce early. I had none of these choices. My doctors didn't feel I would last 3 weeks for the second trimester to begin. I had to start. I couldn't breathe. I felt my baby kick, I felt her grow and her tests all came up good. She had non stress tests and I got a lot of 3D sonograms since I was high risk. She was prefect all the way through. I have no doubt the only thing the drug did was give me some contractions. In the beginning they were very mild. At 30 weeks they were bad enough to admit me. I had 2 steroid injections for the baby's lungs and I was on the magnesium drip for 4 days. She didn't come and I went home. Thank God! It happened again on my last chemo but this time they knew what to do to stop them sooner. The contractions weren't causing me to progress at all anyway. I was in the hospital just one day and went home. My water broke when I was 36 weeks and Gabriella was 6 lbs. 3 oz and 18 inches long. Not too bad ;) Now she is 11 months and 22 pounds!!! Yes, she's a chubby girl. I think I've spoiled her juuuuust a bit. :) I hope this answers some questions about chemo during pregnancy. Just remember if you have to go through this, check out the site I mentioned. They have a lot of information there.